African-Americans at the University of Iowa

1879-1950

 

The Harper Family

Photo Courtesy of the Iowa Women's Archives. Lillian Moore Scales Collection.

Orginial picture from the Kappa Alpha Psi Journal. Vol. 35 May 1949 No. 2.

Front Row (l-r): Frank, Lillie G., and Harry Sr. Back row (l-r): Geraldine, Virginia, Harry Jr. and Lois-Ann.

The Harper family legacy at the University of Iowa began with Dr. Harry D. Harper. Harry Harper was born February 12, 1900, in Fort Madison, Iowa. Harper attended the University from 1920-1924. While at the University of Iowa, Harper was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Upon his graduation in 1924, he matriculated to Howard University where he received a M.D. Harper was a member of the National Medical Association and the American Medical Association. In later years, the Harpers invited African American students from the University to spend time at social gatherings in their home. Virginia Harper was among a group of five students to "officially" integrate Currier Hall at the University of Iowa in 1946. Virginia Harper was born December 23, 1929, in Fort Madison, Iowa. She attended the University of Iowa for three years and continued her studies at Howard University. However, she completed her education at the College of Medical Technology in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Harper became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority when she attended the University of Iowa. While she worked as a medical technician, Harper was appointed to the state Board of Public Instruction in 1971. She later became the president of the Fort Madison chapter of the NAACP; and, she held positions on the Fort Madison Library Board and the Fort Madison Human Rights Commission. Lois Harper Eichacker was born Lois Ann Harper on November 25, 1932, in Keokuk, Iowa. Eichacker graduated from high school in 1950 and later attended the University of Wisconsin and the University of Iowa. She graduated from Ohio State University in 1956. Most of Eichacker's professional career was spent at Southeast Iowa Community Action Organization, Inc. This organization served four counties and was a branch of the Federal Office of Economic Opportunity. Eichaker became the coordinator of the Lee County SEICAO in 1967. The office in Fort Madison, Iowa ,was renamed in her honor. She served on the boards of the University of Iowa Alumni Association, the University of Iowa Black Alumni Association and the Friends Advisory Board of the University of Iowa Libraries.
 
 

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